A uniquely Japanese phenomena, these quasi hotels can be found in any city in Japan. But why do they have them? What demand is this supply catering to? And why don’t they exist in America? Let’s investigate.
The question is who DOESN”T use them? From married couples and dating couples, to prostitutes and drug dealers, everyone goes to love hotels. With relatively decent prices you can even find travelers and foreigners staying spending the night because the free karaoke, Japanese pornography and other add ons. The pricing is comparable to a business hotel, $90 US for a night, or $45 for a 3 hour rest.
Why don’t people just phornicate in the comfort of their own domicile? Why go out and waste $45? Well this seems to be the big question. There is no single reason but several:
It may surprise you to find that love hotels are generally 100% automated, meaning there is no human interaction. You walk in the lobby and up to the ‘room’ vending machine. Press the button for the room you want, insert your yen, and out pops your hotel key. And that is that. This caters to the Japanese’s’ feeling of insecurity and embarrassment at such activities. This is also seen in their use of condom vending machines.
When you choose your room you’ll choose either a stay or a rest. A stay meaning the whole night, and a rest meaning just a few hours.
Tokyo is famous for its ‘Love Hotel Hill’, which is an area about 15-20 minute walk from JR Shibuya which is home to over 100 love hotels. But you don’t have to go to Shibuya to find one, they are readily available near most any train station.